- March 23rd 2012
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) traces its history of connection with flight back to the 1784 flight of Edward Warren over the city in a balloon. College Park, America’s oldest operating airport, began operations in 1906. However, construction on what would eventually become BWI began in 1947 when the airport was named Friendship International Airport. One of the highlights of the period was in 1957, when the first Boeing 707 jetliner ended its first transcontinental flight there.
In 1973, an airport upgrade began and the airport was renamed Baltimore/Washington International Airport. In 1980, it became the first US airport to have a train station on the premises. Passenger numbers rose steadily during the 1980s and 1990s, accompanied by airport infrastructure upgrades. In 2001, the airport was named the fastest growing of America’s busiest airports. In that year it also made significant technological improvements to its parking facilities. In 2005, the airport was renamed to recognize the achievements of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It now has a permanent exhibit on his life and times.
In 2010, the airport handled 21.0 million passengers. BWI Marshall Airport was also named the world’s best for customer satisfaction. Both Southwest Airlines and Condor Airlines have new flights scheduled to start from BWI Airport in 2012.
BWI Airport Facilities
BWI Airport covers 3,596 acres, including 4 domestic and 1 international terminal, 69 jet gates and 5 commuter aircraft gates. It has a wide range of passenger services, including a pet relief area for those traveling with pets. The AirSpace passenger lounge has recently opened, offering passengers food, drinks, Wi-Fi and other amenities at $17.50 per day. Find a full list of services and a map here.
Baltimore airport parking includes several lots. Park Ride Fly USA also recommends three off airport parking facilities: Econopark Express, Park N Fly and Valet Park Express. Don’t forget to check for our latest discount airport parking coupon before you make your airport parking reservation.
Things to Do Near BWI Airport
If you’re looking for activities while at BWI, you won’t have to go too far. If you’re on a layover, then check out the Thurgood Marshall Tribute or Benson Hammond House, which is on the airport grounds. You can also follow the BWI trail and get a bit of exercise.
Other attractions to visit include:
- the National Aquarium
- Patapsco Valley State Park
- the Maryland Science Center
- the Baltimore Museum of Industry
- the American Visionary Art Museum
Enjoy your trip!
(Image: John Picken)